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Defense fuels another Roncalli victory

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Madelyn Bragg, right, puts up a shot attempt as Herreid/Selby Area’s Jada Rossow, left, closes out on defense during a game earlier this season at the Roncalli High School gym. Bragg scored a game-high 24 points in a win at Miller Tuesday night. Photo by John Davis taken 12/28/2021

MILLER – Top-rated Aberdeen Roncalli did not allow a field goal in the first quarter, outscoring Miller 23-1 in that stanza en route to a 52-31 road win over the Rustlers Tuesday night in a non-conference girls basketball contest.

“I thought we did a great job on the defensive end in the first quarter,” said Roncalli coach Derek Larson. “We made them uncomfortable in the half court, pushed them off of spots a little bit. Then I thought we scored some easy baskets in transition.”

The rest of the night turned into a fairly even contest with Miller scoring 30 of its points in the final three quarters to Roncalli’s 29.

“Obviously, getting a big lead was critical,” Larson said. 

Madalyn Bragg finished with a game-best 24 points, but also was able to make a number of kick-out passes after drawing some double and triple-teams from the Miller defense, Larson said. 

“I thought we did a better job not just making shots, but taking the shots we want to take,” Larson said. “The other night against Faulkton, we shot a lot of threes, and a lot of one-pass threes. Tonight, there were only a couple possessions that we took a shot too early in the shot clock.”

Morgan Fiedler finished with 10 points and Olivia Hanson chipped in another eight for Roncalli. 

Miller was led by Jaden Werdel’s 12 points. Tyra Gates finished with nine.

Roncalli, 8-0 on the season, heads to Webster on Thursday and rounds out the week at Milbank Area on Saturday.

ABERDEEN RONCALLI (8-0): Madalyn Bragg 10 3-4 24, Morgan Fiedler 4 2-2 10, Jeci Ewart 1 0-0 2, Olivia Hanson 4 0-0 8, Ava Hanson 3 2-2 8. Totals 22 7-8 52.

MILLER (6-3): Jaden Werdel 5 0-0 12, Trisha Lammers 1 1-2 3, Morgan Kolda 1 0-0 2, Tyra Gates 4 0-0 9, Taya Pawlowski 1 0-0 2, Aleah Schlechter 1 0-0 3. Totals 13 1-2 31.

Aberdeen Roncalli 23 35 44 52

Miller 1 15 20 31

3-pt FG – Bragg; Werdel 2, Gates, Schlechter. Fouls – Aberdeen Roncalli 10; Miller 10.

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